According to the Human Rights Watch, the Australian government has a good track record with regards to the protection of the civil and political rights of everyone. This being said, the previous and current administration did not meet the international standards when it comes to detaining asylum seekers and refugees. As per the reports of BBC, the country opened its doors to at least 13,000 refugees via the humanitarian program last year. In addition, the government said that they will accept at least 12,000 refugees from Syria and Iraq.
Statistical data from the Immigration Department shows that 6,002 permanent visas were conferred to refugees during the 2014-2015 fiscal year. However, this number is lower by 10 percent from the previous year. Those who are having troubles with their visa application can seek help from lawyers in Adelaide, Sydney or other key cities in the country. These people will also ensure that no human rights are violated during the whole process.
Refugee Rights in Australia
There are numerous reports on how the Australian government returned boats that carry refugees from Vietnam, Indonesia and Sri Lanka. Those who are lucky enough to get through the Australian soil were detained on “poorer, less-well equipped, and unsafe nations”, such as Nauru and Papua New Guinea. Refugees in those detention camps experience abuses, receive poor medical attention, and come across rampant violence.
Under various treaties, the Australian government is obliged to make sure that the human rights of refugees and asylum seekers are respected and protected. These include the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, among others. As a matter of fact, these treaties mandate that the government should not arbitrarily detain refugees and not send them back where they are susceptible to human rights violations.
Australia’s Attitude Towards Refugees
The country’s stricter border policies intend to prevent undocumented migrants from reaching the country’s borders. Moreover, these regulations aim to expatriate undocumented and unlawful migrants, not unless they are considered as refugees. The government also has continued efforts to address and disrupt human smuggling across its borders. According to the International Organisation for Migration, this criminal activity is a billion dollar enterprise. The primary victims are refugees from the Middle East and the Southeast Asia. By implementing stringent measures regarding migration, human smuggling will be thwarted.